Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 18, 2017
The Rotary Club was delighted to welcome Ms Theresa Hardiker, President of the Medicine Hat News Santa Claus Fund Board of Directors as our guest speaker today.
Theresa described this year as their most needy year to date.  This is the 31st year of the Santa Claus fund, and their client families increased by almost 25% this year, to a total of 498 families assisted by this organization alone.  Theresa estimated that between the Salvation Army, the Phoenix Safe House, and their fund, almost 100 families received assistance in the community this year.
Theresa reviewed the assessment and qualification process, and spoke about the attempts to avoid duplication in the process.  The Santa Claus fund provided over $46,000 in food vouchers  and the families could shop in the warehouse, to tailor the  gifts to the age, sex and interest of the children.  Most of the local grocery stores honor the vouchers.
Theresa also shared a testimonial from one of their clients, which reinforced the need and appreciation of the service.  She also spoke in general terms to the future, with the new THRIVE program and how these individual funds will work in the future.
Great work by Theresa and her volunteers and as a group we are grateful for their efforts.